The Foreign Policy Systems of North and South Korea

By Byung Chul Koh | Go to book overview

8 FOREIGN POLICY OUTPUTS: STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL DECISIONS

Although we have posited analytic distinctions among the inputs, conversion process, and outputs of foreign policy, their empirical boundaries remain rather hazy. In fact, there is substantial overlap among them. For example, "bilateral systems" of the external setting of the operational environment encompass a nation's bilateral relations with, and hence policies toward, other nations in its geographic region. What is more, our discussion of the psychological environment of foreign policy, particularly of the elite images of the operational environment, has adumbrated many facets of the actual foreign policies of the two Koreas. Our purpose in this chapter, then, is to describe in more detail selected foreign policy outputs of Seoul and Pyongyang, probe their linkage to the input variables, and compare them. Our discussion will be guided by a crude typology of foreign policy outputs that consists of strategic, operational, and tactical decisions and that differentiates between symbolic and substantive actions. Of these, strategic and operational decisions will be examined in this chapter, and the remainder will be taken up in the following chapter.


STRATEGIC DECISIONS

Strategic decisions are marked by their relatively long time frame; they are designed to endure over time and expected to generate payoffs in a slow, incremental fashion. They tend to be relatively ab-

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